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BLIMEY! Who’d have thought giving Wolverhampton a bit of ribbing in a South Yorkshire newspaper would result in a backlash?

Seems my joke at the expense of the West Midlands city in this column last week wasn’t entirely appreciated by everyone

“I am appalled,” writes Peter Lewis. “Wolverhampton is steeped in industrial history. The city was a leader in the industrial revolution.”

As they might say down that way: that’s me told proper bostin.

NICE to see I’m not the only person getting grief for making a cheap gag, though.

Toby Foster’s fast-becoming-infamous rant about New Zealand being the most boring place on Earth is still causing a diplomatic stink – and, frankly, hilariously so.

Best of all has been reading the New Zealand Herald running repeated follow up stories – the best of which included a contribution from Brit-living Kiwi David Wray.

“I only live 40 miles from Sheffield,” he says. “And believe me it is one of the worst places to go in England.”

Ouch.

The Diary, of course, will keep its counsel and not suggest things must be pretty dull down there for this to warrant on-going coverage in the country’s largest newspaper.

FROM the southern equator to the east coast where a Diary friend was enjoying the Whitby Gazette during a weekend away recently.

Scanning the letters page, he stumbled on a debate about the regeneration of the town and read with interest one particularly vitriolic correspondent.

‘You should visit my city,” quoth Samantha Wright, “to witness what happens when there’s no protection or care. The dysfunctional mess and dereliction caused by a council’s policy of trying to constantly re-invent; always another, expensive, new gimmick to replace the last; the plot lost.’

“There was something inevitable,” our man notes, “about looking down to find she was from Sheffield.”

Sounds like Samantha and Mr Wray would get on like a house on fire.